Ethiopian Intellectual Property Law / Legal Brief

Ethiopia is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization. The Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) oversees Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues. The country has an established legal regime for the protection of intellectual property rights even though, it has not signed a number of major IPR treaties, such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) copyright treaty, the Berne Convention for Literary and Artistic Works, the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

The intellectual property laws of Ethiopia are governed by various proclamations, regulations and directives. The Copyright and Neighboring Rights Protection Proclamation no. 410/2004 (the copyright proclamation) came in to force on 19th July 2004. The copyright proclamation was later amended by proclamation no. 872/2014. The implementing regulation was issued by the council of ministers under regulation no. 305/2014.

The patent law of Ethiopia is governed by proclamation no. 123/95 together with the council of ministers regulation no. 12/97. The patent laws regulate inventions, minor invention, utility models and industrial design.

The trademark registration and proclamation no. 501/2006 together with the trademark registration and protection regulation no. 273/2012 are the major laws that are inforce to regulate trademark matters.

The following legal texts are the primary applicable laws: